Smrobs, I've got a question. What makes you prefer a loose ring snaffle over an eggbutt or D-ring? I like to hear different trainer's opinions on this.
I personally use french links on almost all my youngsters now. My horses seem to be happier and more giving now. With a single break snaffle, I had some that let me know about their displeasure. Posted via Mobile Device
I just seem to have a better feel in a loose ring. I honestly don't know how to explain it better than that LOL. I've got one full cheek that I used on my Perch when I rode him but it just didn't feel quite so good in my hands and I felt like I lost some of the connection.
One of these days I will be getting a french link, all I have are single jointed snaffles right now. Thankfully, I haven't had any that really had a problem with it.
If you think the bit is hurting him then you should defiantly get his teeth checked out and floated. Check for wolf teeth. Then maybe next a chiropractic adjustment since he fights you to go one direction. Otherwise you said he "sometimes" moves off your leg? Need to work on improving that and transitions before you ever go back to a barrel. I would also put him back in a loose ring snaffle.
All horses will gape when a bit is being used in a tough way, especially curbs. The function of the curb strap is to give the bit "purchase" when pulling the reins. The curb can then use its leverage to pull the mouthpiece down onto the bars of the jaw. If you pull hard, it hurts and the horse will gape to try to escape it. It says nothing about tooth pain, per se.
The way to get the horse to quit gaping is to use better training to get the horse more responsive to leg/seat....so you don't need to use hands quite so much for routine things.
If he was my horse, I would put him back into a simple loose ring snaffle for the foreseeable future. After having tooth and back pain ruled out, he is likely in desperate need of some re-training and if he doesn't neck rein at all, he shouldn't be in any type of curb bit, especially one with a broken mouth that is so confusing when you try to direct rein.
AFTER you get him soft and supple and responsive in the snaffle, then you can put him back up into a curb bit if you think you need to. The bit that reiningfan posted (buy it here) is one that I use on some of my horses. It is a very nice bit that has wonderful feel. It is the bit that I use on my main ranch horse and we do all kinds of things that are just as high octane as barrel racing.
If you need anything more powerful than that to keep control of your horse, then there is a serious training/riding/handling problem.
Yes, yes, yes. I wish I wasn't on my phone or I'd "like" this. Posted via Mobile Device
I am putting him back into a snaffle (i don't have a loose ring but I do have a d-ring) and I will be working him in that on flexing, moving away from pressure, neck reining, etc. all the simple/ starter training pretty much. I don't think I will get a hack because those seem to be more for finished horses who don't need a bit as much. My horse needs a bit for the control. Im really thinking between the dogbone and the low port curb. I might be able to get both and just see what works better.
Bubb13, could you post a pic of the dogbone type that you are suggesting? One with jr. Cowhorse shanks? That way I have more of an idea of what you are talking about with it
And it turns out I do have a loose ring snaffle lol. I thought I sold it but I didnt so ill use it. I can't find my d-ring though. (my tack room is a mess and needs cleaned so I can find stuff a little easier lol)